This morning I got angry at my little one for oversleeping, hence making me drive him to school, instead of just dropping him off at the bus stop. There were no emergencies to deal with or conference calls that would have needed to be changed, just a hot cup of coffee and my morning 20 minutes of quiet that were now lost. I don’t get to say I am sorry for another 3 hours from now. I wish I could take it back. I also wish I could honestly say that I will never go off at my loved ones for something as insignificant as an unplanned 20 minute trip and having to wait for that all important cup of morning coffee. The truth is, I most likely will.
A few days ago at our local supermarket there was an old lady with a kid (her grand-kid, it turned out) who was buying a few minor things and using two separate food-stamps cards to pay for them. She was a few bucks short, nothing huge. I was with my little one doing a huge weekly shop, and we were in the checkout line right behind her. I paid what she was missing – without even thinking. My little one asked why I paid for someone else’s groceries, and if daddy would mind. I remember telling him that daddy would have done the exact same thing, and that I wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t that kind of person. My little one, reassured now, tells me that he wouldn’t trade us as parents for the world, and that he too is “that kind of person”, and would have covered that lady’s bill…
Jeff Turner shared a post recently that does a much better job of talking about this very thing than I ever could, which you can read here>>
How do I reconcile the two of me in the eyes of the amazing child I’m raising?
How do I explain to him that little things he does sometimes drive me crazy, and I might yell at him for no reason at all, and yet I am thoughtful and generous to a total stranger? That I would drive that same stranger to a hospital without even thinking about it, if asked, while begrudging him a tiny bit of extra sleep on a school morning?
I’d very much like not to have to…. I am hoping that if I simply take a few seconds to breathe before I unleash a barrage of words on my loved ones, I’ll see the immense love and kindness and generosity of spirit that binds me to them more than DNA alone ever could, and maybe, just maybe next time the kiddo oversleeps, I’ll share my 20 minutes of quiet and my first cup of morning coffee with him, and then drive him to school, singing along to his Spotify list.
I’d like to think that over time those moments can add up and help rewrite some of our collective narratives…